22 May 2012

Belgium in Pictures - Day 1

After the first 2 days I was busy and didn't really take pictures.

We arrived Monday morning into Brussels Airport, rented the car, got some coffee (I had tea), then drove into the city to our hotel for the night, which kindly allowed to check in even though it wasn't yet noon. We were up on the 6th floor and had a beautiful view out the balcony windows:




**Lots more pictures after the break**

Because we didn't sleep much on the plane, we were all exhausted.


There was a very cute park very close to the hotel for walking the dogs, but I didn't bring my camera to that one. After we got back from that we decided to take a short nap since every time we sat down we got sleepy.

We all felt the same way....
After a few hours lounging about allowing our brains to rest, we decided that we needed to go sight seeing. Our hotel was within walking distance of the major sights we wanted to see, and since I was traveling on the cheap I mostly just wanted to look at old buildings and pretty parks, since those things are free.

We headed out with the dogs, and walked down to the parks by the Royal Palace, which is called the Parc de Bruxelles Warandepark. This is not an extensively huge park, but it is very pretty, with beautiful paths.

No Jogging on the grass so it stays pretty!

Straight as an arrow pathways.

Close up of the trees/vines. We saw these in several places, they are pretty but very strange - they use branches and sticks to create the grid pattern.
From the other end of the park, we could see the Royal Palace, or Palais du Roi

The gates are very reminiscent of Buckingham Palace


The fence is not that extreme because the royal family doesn't live here any longer.



From here we went out the side of the Park and passed some interesting statues and fountains. None of the inscriptions are in English, so I don't know what they are!

View from the park exit
Lots of pretty fountains like this in random places
Dude on a horse!
From here we walked in what I believed to be the right direction to find Grand Place. And soon by walking down a small alley we discovered it. It was really cool to come out through a small alley and find this amazing place waiting for us. Here's a couple pictures - it was a huge plaza surrounded by beautiful, huge, old buildings. The level of detail in the decorations on these things was amazing. No matter how long you looked, you still hadn't seen every gargoyle, every bit of gold filigree, or every small statue.








After that we grabbed some food at a local vendor and walked back to the hotel to nap some more, take a short walk for the dogs, ate dinner at a local restaurant, then slept all night and into the morning! I'll post pics from Day 2 later on (much smaller amount!)

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